It’s very common for many of us to complicate the most basic ideas. I often catch myself making more out of something than I should. In most cases, I find sticking with the K.I.S.S principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) will give you much better shot at success.
When it comes to fitness and nutrition I hear the craziest, most complicated methods or ideas all the time. For instance, the idea of counting calories has never made any sense to me. I mean how can you figure out the caloric content of everything you eat? There are just way too many variables that affect how food is metabolized.
I have seen every simple concept turned into something more complicated, a tendency which spells disaster for most of us. Most important is to establish a nutritional and exercise program that is progressive and focused on taking you to your goals. This does not need to be all that complicated.
So here is a quick list of what I believe are some of the most important variables in a successful program. Not really in any particular order, except for the first few.
- Set goals and write them down.
- Always have a plan, be consistent and stick to it. Life will inevitably get in the way, but you must decide what is most important.
- Strength train at least twice a week.
- If fat-loss and fitness are your main goals, do intervals training instead of long-duration aerobic exercise.
- Never get dehydrated. Drink 90% filtered water and not much else.
- Focus more on the quality of your food than on the quantity. However, don’t completely disregard quantity.
- Focus on the quality of your exercise program, not the quantity. You can get just as many benefits from a 3-day training protocol as a 5-day when you train hard and design your program correctly .
- At the beginning of each session, spend a few minutes foam rolling and dynamic warm-up instead of walking or biking for 5-10 minutes. It will go a long way!
- Change your program often. Don’t do the same thing over and over again. Your body will typically adapt to your program in 2-4 weeks. Changing at least one variable often, ie. number of sets, reps, tempo (speed of rep), exercises and even the order of exercises can have a tremendous impact.
- Don’t get your fitness information from fitness magazines. Once in a while they will publish something useful, but typically they give poor advice. Seek out a professional if need be. A good fitness coach can help set up a progressive, uncomplicated program in a few sessions.
I am sure there are a few more tips I could have thrown in…but why complicate matters when this list works just fine?
I hope you’re successful at reaching your goals this year. Be sure to write them down and have a plan. Those may be the two most important tools of all.
Strength For Life,